We talk about capacity building and synergy of higher medical education institutions


A busy, interesting and productive day! This is how the first day of training began, with the fruitful work of the speakers with the participants. Representatives of the higher educational institutions reflected a lot on the activities that were or could not be implemented, analyzed the cause-and-effect relationship and consolidated the lessons learned. We also worked on plans for the development of clinical skills labs, identified the next tasks and successive steps for the next three months.

We are infinitely grateful to Anastasia Leukhina for her extremely interactive work with the audience, during which the representatives of the e higher educational institutions got acquainted in more detail with the success story of the peer group initiative. Here are some statistics: at the beginning of 2021, 18 groups started in 10 medical educational institutions of Ukraine. And in six months we managed to conduct 86 meetings for more than 200 participants. These numbers are extremely valuable to us because they really emphasize the importance of having such an initiative and the trend of scaling up. We can frankly say that peer groups are an extremely useful tool that:

  • disciplines and teaches focusing well,
  • encourages to study the requests of the participants, as well as to find answers to them,
  • give and receive feedback,
  • improve the quality of facilitation teaching – to learn new teaching formats that can be taken with you to the audience,
  • helps build community and continuous learning.

Among the most popular topics of peer groups discussed at the meetings were:

  • online teaching and learning tools,
  • students motivation,
  • feedback,
  • debriefing,
  • communication in the team, as well as with students,
  • prevention of emotional burnout.

By the way, the Project website already has an interactive map of all existing peer groups in Ukraine. So joining a wonderful community that loves dynamic learning and expanding world-views is now even easier.

As well, we heard the story of the creation of the workshop, “Humanity and empathy in the work of a medical professional”. Let us note at once that we were inspired to create this course by Anastasia’s “Not a Scary Book At All”. Now we continue to promote humanity and empathy even more widely, because it is very important to further expand the world-view of future medical professionals. That’s why we all started working together to create such a course for medical students.

You may not know it, but several lessons have already been conducted at the Rivne Medical Academy! At the Bukovynian State Medical University, there are already conducted extracurricula meeting of students for discussion of the topic “Patient-oriented counselling. Spikes Bad News Protocol”. Starting from the next semester, 12 groups will study a course that was jointly created during the workshop. In our opinion, this is an extremely big step towards changing the communication between healthcare providers and patients. We are glad that we can finally pay even more attention to the paradigm shift in the relationship between people who seek medical help and people who provide care.

The conversation with Orest Suvalo, psychiatrist, coordinator of community service development of the Swiss-Ukrainian project “Mental Health for Ukraine” was also very interesting. Mr. Orest spoke in detail about the mental health services. We also talked about whether we pay enough attention to our mental health. “A comprehensive and coordinated response to mental health challenges requires partnerships with a wide range of public sectors, such as health, education, employment, justice, social and other relevant sectors, such as the private sector, according to the country’s context.” commented Mr. Orestes.